Westphal, Merold

Westphal, Merold
   A Christian philosopher at Fordham University, Merold Westphal has been primarily interested in continental philosophy since Immanuel Kant, and has become an interpreter of this tradition to practitioners of analytical philosophy. While Christian philosophers are often critical of postmodernism, Westphal has argued that it has helpfully illuminated human finitude and the effects of original sin, which were inadequately appreciated by the Enlightenment in its quest to identify transcultural, ahistorical norms of human nature and reason. Westphal develops a critique of the remaining vestiges of this project by drawing upon many of religion's greatest critics, including Freud and Marx. In his dialogue with postmodernists, Westphal sees in Derrida's 'death of the author' a commendable challenge to the Enlightenment conception of the omnipotent and autonomous author. Westphal's critics contend, however, that he has failed to distinguish adequately between those aspects of postmodernism that can be affirmed and those that should be rejected.
   Further reading: Westphal 1993, 1996, 2001 and 2004

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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